One of the more tricky managerial situations is becoming the boss of your peers. Promotion is a wonderful feeling but suddenly YOU are accountable for your colleagues performance. Being internal, no-one will be onboarding you.
Here is a checklist to ensure you make a strong start:
Promotion; why you?
What is expected of you? Drill down hard. Now is your time to find this out. Then you can deliver.
Ask if they had any reservations about your appointment. This can be tough to hear but it’s going to be highly useful. And it won’t be a surprise to you either.
A thorough handover from the outgoing leader is key.
Ask for evidence for any personal opinions.
Check your understanding of any unfamiliar areas, controls, processes etc
Find out what they were most proud of and why.
Find out what they never got to and why.
Spend time with each new direct report.
Let them show you how things work & what is important to them.
Meet more junior staff. Be accessible.
Observe, listen, observe. Repeat.
Tell your staff. A lot.
Break it down and re-enforce it. A lot.
Check understanding regularly.
If they know what you want to achieve & how – you will.
Being a peer is a different relationship to being the boss.
There has to be clear boundaries.
Likewise be careful of friendships or those you disliked.
Control carefully the flow of information. Especially while everyone is remote.
Don’t allow your favourites to be better informed.
Don’t have favourites. Be even handed and accountable for the performance of your whole team.
Be the boss you would have wanted.
Ideally externally if you can to give you some perspective & a sounding board.
Set yourself some clear goals and review them.
Identify what you need to learn and how. Share everything with your mentor. Share whatever you feel comfortable with, with your boss.
Having a plan is so much better than rushing in there and hoping it will turn out well. Remember that whatever the reason(s) for your promotion, this is a different job with different expectations.
As you climb higher the rules change and aren’t always clearly communicated. So make sure you are as informed as possible and that your team are tight around you and closely aligned with your plans.